What if you want a sunset image of a particular scene, but the sky is overcast or you’re not in the right place at the right time? The answer is simple: Watch this eight-minute tutorial and do it in Photoshop.
German landscape photographer Christian Möhrle gets gorgeous images straight out of the camera. But he occasionally turns to Photoshop when a photo he captured doesn’t have the look he envisioned. In this episode he demonstrates a simple method for giving a sunrise or sunset look to images taken in midday.
Möhrle begins with a long exposure seashore photograph captured during the day. His first step is to balance the exposure by bringing down the highlights and opening up the shadows. He then uses a graduated filter overlapping the sky to make it slightly darker. A second graduated filter is added over the foreground with a subtle boost in texture and clarity.
Möhrle then creates a glow effect and uses a small radial filter for increased blacks, a bump in exposure, and decreased haze. Color grading is the next step, and Möhrle slightly decreases saturation in the sky while warming up the highlights with a split toning effect.
Saving cleanup for last, Möhrle uses a Spot Healing brush to eliminate distracting elements. He also enhances the glow effect by painting with a warm brush. A couple more quick tweaks and the result is a “sunset” shot with a very natural look.